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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Aug 12, 2013 4:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-dead inflammatory post

by Justin Gillis on May 10, 2013

Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears

The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.

Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.

The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.

Ralph Keeling, who runs another monitoring program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said a continuing rise could be catastrophic. “It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds,” he said.

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Aug 13, 2013 7:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: non-dead inflammatory post
The real question is are we going to do this the hard way, by postponing our recovery until we hit rock bottom and must endure the extreme trauma of trying to rebuild society on an exhausted and ravaged planet? Or are we going to use our remaining resources to rehabilitate ourselves and restore our communities before we ruin our country and pillage our planet in a frantic search for one final fix?
The amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves is 2795 gigatons. We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050 and still have some reasonable hope of staying below the two degrees celsius temperature increase – about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit – at which life is still bearable on Earth.